According to GlobalData, Canada was the world’s fifth-largest producer of graphite in 2022, with output down by 2.4% compared to 2021. The majority of its exports are sent to the US.
Despite being a small part of the sector, safety equipment and solutions for graphite mines are paramount. From PPE to advanced gas detection systems, safety equipment plays a crucial role in safeguarding the well-being of workers and ensuring a secure work environment. Based on more than 40 years of experience supporting more than 800 mines in North America, Carroll Technologies has searched the market to find only the best and most reliable safety equipment.
Protective clothing for graphite mining
Workers in graphite mines should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as helmets, gloves, steel-toed boots, and reflective clothing. These items protect against falling debris, chemical exposure, and potential collisions with heavy equipment. Carroll Technologies supplies products made by Protective Industrial Products (PIP), which offers an extensive range of eye, foot, hand and head protection.
When it comes to hard hats, Carroll Technologies has sought out the best that the mining industry has to offer, including the following from leading manufacturers:
- MPS Centurion Vision hard hat
- MPS Centurion Spectrum hard hat
- MSA hard hat
- NLT hard hat
- 475369-B V-Guard Hard Hat
- 475336 Comfo Cap Hard Hat
Respiratory protection in graphite mines
Graphite mines may contain various toxic gases, such as methane and carbon monoxide, so gas detection systems are employed to continuously monitor the levels of these gases in the underground environments. If dangerous levels are detected, the system alerts workers to evacuate the area immediately, preventing potential accidents or health issues. Carroll Technologies provides a range of handheld gas detection devices, including the Altair 4X and Altair 5X from MSA, which can measure up to four to five gases simultaneously.
When it comes to self-contained breathing apparatus from graphite mining, Carroll Technologies supplies the industry-leading W65 Self-Rescuer Respirator from MSA, which protects against carbon monoxide poisoning. Encased inside a rugged, stainless-steel case, the lightweight W65 features a positive hermetic seal and offers an in-service life of ten years.
The M-20 by Ocenco is the world’s smallest self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR), which uses compressed oxygen to provide respiratory protection for up to 32 minutes. Ocenco’s EBA 6.5 is designed for bulk storage in the refuge chamber of a mine. It uses compressed oxygen rather than an oxidisation process, making it more comfortable to wear with a longer window of active use. Unlike other devices, it can be refurbished and upgraded.
Ventilation systems for graphite mines
Graphite mining can generate large amounts of dust, which can be a major fire hazard when working with hot equipment that may spark. Adequate ventilation systems are crucial to maintaining a safe atmosphere and preventing respiratory issues among workers. Properly designed ventilation systems help control dust and maintain air quality, ensuring that miners breathe clean air while on-site. Carroll Technologies supplies a range of high-quality products such as ventilation tubing from Bluefield Manufacturing, which manufactures a comprehensive portfolio of brattice ventilation curtains and associated equipment for mines and tunnels.
Fall protection equipment
When working at height or in elevated areas, safety harnesses, lanyards and anchorage systems are required to prevent workers from slipping and falling. Fall protection equipment available through Carroll Technologies includes:
- MSA retractable lanyards
- MSA vest-style harnesses
- MSA full-body harnesses
- MSA lanyard restraints
- MSA trauma prevention
- MSA lanyards with hooks
- Honeywell Miller AirCore harnesses
- Honeywell personal fall limiter
Carroll Technologies stocks and services the Northern Light Technologies’ (NLT) Polaris lamp, which is the most-used cordless cap lamp in mines in the world. Other portable lighting solutions include the Illumagear Halo, which provides 360° visibility for a quarter of a mile and is compatible with any standard hard hat. This cordless cap light provides powerful floodlighting and spotlights while enabling freedom of movement.
For fixed lighting solutions, Carroll Technologies offers X-Glo’s innovative LED Strip Lighting. While conventional lighting requires separate power and a wired connection for each lamp, x-Glo’s product plugs into an existing power source.
Carroll Technologies provides fully customized radio communication systems for underground and surface mines in partnership with Icom.
Icom has been making rugged, two-way radio products for more than 50 years and can meet any communications needs, from underground graphite mining to large buildings.
Carroll Technologies also supplies an extensive range of mining phones and leaky feeder systems through PBE. PBE’s Leaky Feeder System can be customized for specific site requirements to ensure optimal radio coverage and data communications, and its two-way radios offer complete communications coverage at any graphite mining site.
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